The River Stone Shiatsu Association
- Frequently Asked Questions -
When you perform a technique that is so new to the general public, it is very common to have many questions. While we cannot answer every single one of them on this forum, let us try and get the most commonly asked questions answered for you.
What is the difference between Shiatsu and Massage?
Shiatsu is not massage, which is why you haven't seen the term "Shiatsu Massage" put down anywhere on this site. Massage focuses more on structural relief by going directly at the muscle and/or fascia. Shiatsu works to balance that same structure by elminating the stagnation that constricts the blood flowing through it. It is blood flow that changes the structural integrity of the tissue in your body. You do need a Massage License to practice Shiatsu in most states, but the two treatments are extremely different. We also do not involve any oils, gels, or lotions in Shiatsu and you are fully dressed during the session.
What type of attire do I wear for the treatment?
It is suggested that you to wear comfortable, loose clothing; workout or yoga attire is most common. Restricted clothing, like thick jeans and belts, will lessen the practitioner's ability to assess your body. If you're comfortable with it, for the upper half, you can have your shirt off for male clients and wear just a sports bra for female clients.
I've had Shiatsu before but it wasn't the same type. How is this different?
There are many types of Shiatsu treatments in the world. The word "Shiatsu" means "finger pressure". If you were to go to a store you could buy Shiatsu massaging tools or Shiatsu machines meant to drape over the back of a chair and "shiatsu" your back. These, obviously, are not the same as the Shiatsu offered at The River Stone. We practice a rare form of shiatsu- Sennin-So. Sennin-So Shiatsu is a very specific technique passed down for over 600 years. Using manual manipulation and pressure points, these practitioners release sensitive areas that are the root of many of the body's ailments. During a treatment, we are always told how significantly different this is compared to the other styles of Shiatsu the clients have received.
Does it hurt during the session?
When the Shiatsu Practitioner performs the session, it is very common to find multiple areas in your body that are quite sensitive. Sensitivity can mean pain, a ticklish sensation, or a combination of both. Understand that the pressure used in your treatment isn't as deep as it feels. Many Shiatsu Practitioners can perform over 10 treatments a day without breaking a sweat. If we used deep pressure we wouldn't be able to see so many clients per day or work as many years as we have. The sensitivity that is felt is due to a lack of oxygen facilitating the nerves. Without the appropriate oxygen, the nerves become sensitive to the touch. It is quite literally your body's way of telling you where the blockage is. The practitioner can lighten the pressure even more if it is too uncomfortable, working with you always to your own tolerance. Though once the blockage is released, the sensitivity is significantly less... if it exists at all. The before and after change here is one of the things that makes Sennin-So Shiatsu such an amazing treatment to receive. It only hurts if your body needs it.
Will I need to drink a lot of water after the treatment?
You will need to stay hydrated, yes. But understand that doesn't mean you need to drown yourself in water for the rest of the day. Drinking "lots of water" actually has its downside to your body's circulatory system. Everything in moderation. We do, however, suggest you that you do not consume any alcoholic beverage on that day.
After a Shiatsu session, especially your very first one, you'll detox in a way that you might have never experienced before. For approximately 72 hours your body will undergo a purge of toxins that will be great in the end, but sometimes a little jarring during. Common reactions while you detox are soreness, stiffness, nausea, a headache, or the feeling of "being hit by a Mac Truck". While this isn't enjoyable by anyone, it is vital in your body's path to healing. You can't have a healthy body if the body is toxic on the inside. Not everyone has a major detox. Relatively healthy individuals don't have a huge detox. But if you really need it, you'll feel it. The first detox is usually the most noticeable. After the first, detoxes come much much easier and fewer. You'll only detox if you needed to.
Does Insurance cover Shiatsu?
Most insurance companies do not cover Shiatsu. Some insurance companies can lump it together with Massage, as some states see them as the same thing. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, which is from car insurances and used prior to accidents, can be used. But this is at the discretion of the practitioner.